Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hooded Towel: Part 1 Making the Hood

In this post, I will attempt to show/explain how I make hooded towels.  I was first given two hooded towels by friends when my son was born.  I liked them so much that I studied the ones I had been given and began making & giving them out for baby shower gifts myself.  When my daughter was born, I made two for her and two for my son and they are still using them almost 7 years later.  So, don't think these are just for babies and young kids.  Maybe my children are strange but even at ages 7 and 11, they still like to use them.  And since they have their own colors, we always know who's towel is who's (and who's is laying on the bed, floor, etc...).
To get started you will need:
 one bath towel
one hand towel
thread that matches/blends in with the color of your towel
  I normally buy two of the same solid color, but I've seen cute hooded towels made out of striped towels, animal print towels, different colored towels, whatever you see at the store and like together will work.  Also if you plan to have any decorative ribbon/trim or applique on the hood or the towel, whatever supplies you need for that.

First, I take the hand towel and fold over one of the edges with the decorative strip.  I try to use the end without the tag.  I also try and fold the edge over so that the "back" of the hand towel is facing up, but when I fold the edge over it is showing the "right" side of the towel edge, if that makes sense.
Pin it in a couple of places along each edge where you folded it over and in the middle to help keep all the towel edges lined up while cutting.
I then measure and cut between 11 and 13 inches from the folded edge.  I use a ruler and my rotary cutter, but scissors work too.

Then I sew a straight stitch along the edges where is it double thickness to keep the edges lined up when sewing it onto the main towel later and also about 3 or 4 inches along the top of the part that's folded over to keep it in place as well. 
If you want to add decorative ribbon, trim, edges, or other items like patches or applique to the hood, now is the best time to do that.  Sorry I don't have any examples of that right now.

Fold the towel in half right sides out and stitch a straight stitch along the raw/cut edge.  I stitch about a 3/8" seam on this part, but it may vary depending on the fluffiness of your towel.

After stitching the raw/cut edge, turn the towel right sides together.  Make sure to push the top corner out so it looks nice and gently push out the seam edge you just sewed to make it as flat as possible.

Next, making a french seam (here and here), stitch about 5/8" from the edge to encase the seam with the raw/cut edge.  You may need a wider seam depending on the fluffiness of your towel and how wide our previous seam was.  You just want to make sure you enclose the raw/cut edge completely but also making the seams as small as possible so it's not too bulky on the back of your little cutie's head if they were to be laying down on it.
When you've done that, it should look like this on the inside of the hood (which is facing out at this point), no raw edges on the seam showing anymore.

Turn it right sides out and this is what the outside back of the hood looks like when you're done.
Next part is attaching it to the main towel.

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